Things 359 – 365

It’s New Year’s Eve and the night is resounding with a constant barrage of fireworks. It will continue to get louder and crazier until midnight, at which point the Netherlands will sound like a war zone.

For now I’m taking refuge inside, though we’ll join the craziness on the streets later. First I need to finish this blog.

Tonight I wrap up this blog project with a random collection of Things from all three categories: beading, crochet and sewing.

Let’s start with beading. The first piece of jewelry is a three-strand elastic bracelet with an assortment of pink glass beads, finished off with a lock and key charm set.




The second is a simple slip-knot necklace, made with white leather cord and a big flower pendant from my stash.



The last piece of jewelry of 2014 is a necklace with some kind of stone (agate?), freshwater pearls and metal seed beads. I made a mistake the first time I made it. Can you spot it?




I thought the section with three stone beads was in the middle. This evening I restrung it, removing the extra bead and adding some more seed beads to compensate.




That’s better.


The next category is crochet. This Thing was a gift for a young friend, Rebecca. Earlier this year I made her a yellow toque and scarf with the yarn left over from a blanket from her Oma.

There was still enough left for one more gift. For her birthday, I crocheted a bag to hold her crocheted turtle, Pumpkin, that I made for her last year and that she sleeps with every night.




I improvised a pattern and finished it with a drawstring cord with tassels.




I included another little turtle that I crocheted earlier this year. He can be a little brother for Pumpkin.


The last three Things of 2014 fall in the sewing category.

The first is another bra for Martina. (Sorry, darling. This is the last time I will post your underthings on the internet.)




She needed a black one to go under her Christmas gala dress. I used the Ohhh Lulu pattern I’ve been using all year. The fabric is from an old t-shirt of mine (the one that I cut the sleeves off of for Esther’s shirt) and the straps are the wide black elastic left over from that project.


The next item was a gift. Some months ago Esther made a pillow for her dear friend. There’s a 70-year age gap between them but they get on fabulously. He’s from South Africa so Esther used a fabric that I picked up for her when I was there two years ago. This was her pillow.






He loved it so much that his wife asked me if we could make another matching one. Last week I made this.




I didn’t position the fabric as well as Esther did, but the pillow was well-received nonetheless and together they make a nice set.


My last project of 2014 was the fulfilment of a promise to Esther made a couple of months ago. She requested a cloak, but I kept telling her I needed to finish a bunch of other projects first (flower girl dresses come to mind.) This past Monday I kept my promise.

Presenting Thing 365….


That’s Esther’s solemn, cloak-wearing expression.


I found instructions for sewing a walking cloak at the Jane Austen website. The fabric is silver stretch velvet from my stash (from the same shopping trip as the white velvet of the angel costumes).




I lined the cloak with the champagne satin from the flower girl dresses. A gold button from Esther’s stash and a white ribbon loop serve as a clasp.




Due to fabric limitations I couldn’t quite make it the length Esther wanted (sweeping the floor like Darth Vader) and the hood is a bit smaller than anticipated, but it’s still delightfully swishy and full.






So that’s it, folks. 365 Things in 365 Days for 365 Euros. I did it! I think this calls for champagne.

Happy New Year!



Cost of these Things:  7.91USD for beading wire = €6.52
Cost of all Things to date: €363.98


Would you look at that? I have €1.02 to spare. Time to go shopping for craft supplies!


Things 321 – 332

Dum dum dee dum…

Today’s theme is Wedding Extravaganza.

Three weeks ago I posted about some work-in-progress flower girl dresses. The wedding celebration is tomorrow so I’m relieved to announce the dresses are done. I don’t have photos of them in action yet, but here are the completed dresses:




What a learning curve, wrestling with yards and yards of satin and tulle. Each dress has a tulle slip plus another satin slip with a giant tulle ruffle. The dresses look much pouffier when worn than they do here on a hanger.




The zippers, as usual, gave much grief, but eventually submitted to my will. Not before I sewed my finger to the champagne dress, though. The machine needle actually went through the tip of my index finger. Fortunately I did not bleed on the dress.


Next I made some matching bracelets for the flower girls. I rummaged through my stash and found an assortment of champagne and pink beads. These I strung on elastic: three tiny ones for the littlest of the flower girls (who will be wearing the dresses I made) and one bigger one for the older flower girl (whose dress I didn’t make).




The girls were taken care of so I moved on to the boys’ outfits. Using the same champagne satin from the dresses I made matching bow ties for four little boys.





The Bosco bow tie pattern from is quick, easy and free. With a bit of starch, some sewing and liberal use of my glue gun I finished these in an afternoon. They just need velcro or a safety pin to attach them under the collar.

Finally, for the sister of the groom (and mother of three of the flower girls and dear, dear friend of mine) I made a necklace.





I’ve had these vintage turquoise Swarovski crystals for many years. I’ve tried to use them several times in the past but it never worked out quite right. This time I paired them with navy blue glass and metal seed beads in a two-strand necklace that came together effortlessly. It was obviously meant to be.


So everyone’s ready and the celebration can begin. Congratulations, Ardjan & Erin!


Cost of these Things:  0
Cost of all Things to date: €304.59

Thing 276

I’ve been busy making lots of beady Things over the last weeks in preparation for the pre-Christmas sales.

Today’s Thing is a bit of a splurge. My wire supply is dwindling so I’ve been mostly sticking to bracelets made with scraps or elastic.  However, I assembled a beautiful pile of beads that cried out for more.

The flat rounds are jasper from my stash. I’ve had it for a long time but could never decide how to use it. I picked up the gold pearls and glass in Canada last summer and loved the way they looked with the jasper. I finally had my project. I strung them in random-ish order until they were all used up and I had a long, drapey necklace.




Last Saturday was our big jewelry sale of the year. A woman liked this necklace and wanted to buy it for her mother’s Christmas gift. However, instead of one long strand she asked if I could make it a two-strand necklace, with some extra length (i.e. not just the current version folded double). I promised I’d have it ready in time for Sinterklaas.

I didn’t have any more of the jasper, gold pearls or glass so I rummaged through my stash for some beads that would blend in. I found some light brown glass that worked.

I needed to restring the entire necklace so I could work the new beads in evenly. While I was at it I also changed the clasp — the original one was slippery and difficult to open when it was on a two-strand necklace. I replaced it with a gold toggle clasp.




Hopefully the mother likes it and doesn’t ask if I can make it one long strand instead.


Cost of this Thing: €2.82
Cost of all Things to date: €295.04

Things 251 – 253

The sun is shining and the not-our-cat is basking in its warmth.




Last beading evening was super productive. Not only did I make the eight elastic bracelets, I also made three necklaces. However, this might sound more impressive than it really is. All I did was string a pendant on three chains.

The first two were owl pendants I picked up in Canada. I just added a jump ring and put them on a couple of silver-plated chains.





The last one is a black glass cat bead. I attached it to a head pin, bent a loop in the top of the pin and called it a pendant. I strung it on a length of gun-metal chain.




Our last sale of the year is on Saturday so I want to make as much jewelry as possible before then.




Cost of these Things: €4.25
Cost of all Things to date: €292.22

Things 243 – 250

This is not our cat. He just thinks he is. He wanders in the house, hangs around in the garden and has taken to napping on the table.




Last night I made some good headway on Thing production.

I have a bag of black glass beads with gold swirls on them. Cheryl passed them on to me and she has no idea where they came from. I finally decided to do something with them.

I strung them on elastic and added some charms that came off an old piece of jewelry.




The bag of beads was still more than half full so I carried on with three more elastic bracelets. I added some shiny orange plastic beads to make them a bit more interesting (the charms were all used up).




I think I would have been better off just leaving them plain black. And since the baggy of black beads is far from empty, I may just do that.

For now, though, eight is enough.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €287.97

Things 220 – 222

Hi! I’m back. That was a longer hiatus than intended. It’s so much easier to keep going with a project when the forward momentum is in place. My summer break was glorious but it’s been hard to get back to real life. However, I have only two and a half months in order to finish this 365 project, so the panic is now sufficient to kick me into gear.

I made enough Things before the summer and had all the best intentions to post about them throughout July and August. By September, of course, I would be back in my disciplined daily routine. Ahem.

On the up side, I have lots to post about. And, since my beading ladies and I are back to our Wednesday evening ritual, I even have some new bracelets to show. I’ll start with those.

I don’t have much beading wire left but I did find an unopened 25m spool of elastic. Stretchy bracelets it is, then. I pulled out boxes and baggies of glass beads of unknown origin and sorted by colour.

I started with black. There were enough beads for three elastic bracelets. Then I had the idea to attach them with a pendant from the same stash. This reduced the Thing count from three to one, but I like it much more.




Next I went for an assortment of aqua glass. I had enough for two bracelets, but again, I liked them attached with a pendant, this time a (fake) gold heart with an aqua enamel centre.



The final bracelet used up some flat glass ovals I’ve had for far too many years. I separated them with some large black seed beads left over from the black bead pile, and had enough for two bracelets. I attached them with a large antique coin pendant.




And that’s the story of how I made seven Things but ended up with three.




The pre-Christmas sales start in a couple of weeks, and I hope these end up in someone’s stocking this year.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €279.74


Note: I have temporarily disabled comments. Spammers, the bottom feeders of the blogging world, have overwhelmed my pending comments box. When I got back from vacation there were over 7,000 — 7,000! — spam messages awaiting approval. I can only delete them 100 at a time. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So until I figure out how to repel them without upgrading to a paid-for blogging platform (I’m cheap like that), comments are closed. Sorry, Mom.



Thing 214

Last week Wednesday was our last beading evening before the summer break. I wanted to build up some holiday time buffer so I made three Things. I’ll spread them out over the next few weeks. They’ll provide a welcome break from crocheted flip flops.

I amassed a pile of random supplies: a scrap of wire, one bead frame, a packet of black flat rounds with AB coating on one side, black seed beads and a toggle clasp of unknown origin. These came together in an industrious fifteen minutes of beading and voilà, Thing 214 was born.


photo 1_173


More leftovers used up and another bracelet for the collection.


photo 2_171


And yes, my posts are getting shorter the closer we get to summer break. We’re deep in the end-of-school-year rituals and I’m trying to make twenty Things this week. I’m fairly sure the house will self-destruct before Friday.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €277.74



Thing 201

My beading buddy, Cheryl, brought me some more beads last night in her ongoing efforts to clear her stash and prevent me from clearing out mine. I had no other plan in mind so I decided to use them up right away.

photo 3_122

They’re glass beads but they have the honey-warmth of amber. I used silver, green and cream-coloured seed beads as well as random bead cap leftovers to fill out the pattern and give it some depth. I finished the necklace off with a little toggle clasp. I have a baggie of these clasps and I have no idea where they came from but I was glad to find them. My clasp supply was running low. The end result wasn’t a particularly exciting or original necklace but I still like it. It could be a low-key addition to to an everyday, casual outfit.  I’m putting it in the gift/sale pile.

Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €263.44


Thing 196

Today’s Thing was supposed to be made with more of the yellow sheet but I kind of ran out of sewing steam. When we got home from a wedding this afternoon, instead of sewing a yellow bib as planned I pulled out Wednesday evening’s beading project.


photo 2_149


My Swarovski bead box is getting sadly empty. I have a couple of full packs of crystals left but mostly it’s just baggies with the leftovers — two of one colour, three of another. I decided to see if I could do something with the dregs (not that Swarovski qualifies as “dregs”).

I started with the biggest crystal (8mm) in the middle and added the others on either side, spacing them with pewter bead caps and glass seed beads. A tiny sterling silver lobster clasp and chain give an elegant and adjustable finish. Tiny wrist? No problem. Too many doughnuts? Bracelet still fits.

I attached the last crystal bicone to the end of the chain to use it up and because it’s pretty. Two good reasons.


photo 1_150


I’ll put this one in the sale pile. At our last sale we had several people looking for finer, delicate bracelets. Let’s hope those people are at our next sale.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99


Thing 182

Last night I splurged. Instead of using scraps of beading wire to make yet another bracelet, I pulled out the spool of wire and made a necklace. I could make it as long as I wanted! (As it turns out, it’s actually pretty short.)


photo 1_129


It’s a mix of glass, Swarovski pearls, metal rounds and seed beads. The pearly seed beads are pretty but, oh, what a pain to string. That part took the longest. To finish it off, a simple and delicate clasp was called for and this gold-filled hook-and-eye fit the bill.


photo 3_100


Thanks, Martina, for offering your neck. For art.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €201.62